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cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
, a free hit is a
delivery Delivery may refer to: *Delivery (commerce), of goods, e.g.: **Pizza delivery **Milk delivery Film and television *Delivering (film), ''Delivering'' (film), a 1993 short film by Todd Field *Delivery (film), ''Delivery'' (film), a 2005 animated sho ...
to a
batsman In cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the cricket ball, ball with a cricket bat, bat to score runs (cricket), runs and prevent the dismissal (cricket), loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsm ...
in which the batsman cannot be
dismissed Dismissal or dismissed may refer to: Dismissal *In litigation, a dismissal is the result of a successful ''motion to dismiss''. See motion (legal), motion *Termination of employment, the end of employee's duration with an employer **Dismissal (e ...
by any methods other than those applicable for a
no-ball In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail ...
, namely
run out Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action start ...
,
hit the ball twice Hit the ball twice, or ''"double-hit"'', is a method of dismissal (cricket), dismissal in the sport of cricket. Its occurrence in modern cricket is exceptionally rare. Definition Law 34.1 of the Laws of Cricket states: 34.1 Out Hit the ball twic ...
and
obstructing the field Obstructing the field is one of the ten methods of dismissing a batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...
. It is relevant in
One Day Internationals A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball ga ...
and
Twenty20 Twenty20 (T20) is a shortened game format of cricket. At the professional level, it was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the county cricket, inter-county competition. In a Twenty20 game, the two teams have a ...

Twenty20
matches. When a bowler bowls a
no-ball In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail ...
, the immediate next ball is a free hit. Additionally, if the ball is delivered full toss above the waist the batsman receives a free hit.


History

It came into international cricket in October 2007. Initially only foot fault no balls resulted in a free hit. From 2015, the rules were changed so that all no balls result in a free hit.


Advantage gained

The opportunity afforded by a free hit ball enables the batsman to play a more powerful shot without the fear of getting out by the most common methods (caught or
leg before wicket Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricke ...
). The fault lies with the fielding side, and the advantage is to the batting side. Also, if the ball did hit the stumps, the batsman could afford to steal single runs (a bye) because the ball is normally considered a dead ball.


Fielding restrictions

The fielding team is not allowed to change the
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
for the free hit ball, if the same batsman (who received the original no-ball) is on strike. However, for safety reasons, if the
wicketkeeper The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts ...
is standing up at the stumps he is allowed to move back to a more traditional position. If the batsmen ran an odd number of runs on the original no-ball, the other batsman is now the striker, and the field may be re-positioned for the free hit. In fact re-positioning is also allowed if the striker changes for whatever reason, for example if a new batsman replaces a striker who is
run out Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action start ...
on the original no-ball, by failing to make his
ground Ground may refer to: * Soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. Earth's body ...
on the second run. The field must also be re-positioned if the no-ball was called for an illegal field placement.


Signal

The umpire at the bowler's end signals that the next ball is a free hit by making circular movements in the air with one raised hand. The free hit is carried over to the next ball if the original free hit ball is bowled wide or a no-ball; in this case the umpire is required to signal the free hit again.


References

{{Reflist Cricket terminology